Hurricane Harvey Creates New Abnormal for the Electric Grid

Stories are just beginning to emerge about microgrids and distributed energy systems that are keeping critical services up and running despite Hurricane Harvey's best efforts to do them in. Twenty-one convenience stores and gas stations in the Houston area remained open thanks to an unusual microgrid system designed by Enchanted Rock … [Read more...]

Analysis: Will the Perry Study Actually Help Microgrids and Energy Storage?

Microgrids and energy storage improve electric reliability. So it was perplexing to see how little attention they received in a major study on grid reliability issued this week by the U.S. Department of Energy. Businesses, communities and institutions across the country have stepped up installation of microgrids in recent years to ensure power … [Read more...]

Driving Complexity out of Microgrid Design

In this week’s Industry Perspectives, Scott Manson, of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, explains why we need simpler microgrid design and more "elegant" control strategies.  About two decades ago, one of the first programmable logic controller (PLC) systems I coded was controlling an expensive machine called a sheeter. This machine … [Read more...]

Pennsylvania Tackles a Big One: Who Pays for Utility Microgrids?

Pennsylvania is the now the center of a pivotal, national industry debate over who pays for utility microgrids, with the introduction of legislation into the General Assembly that gives utilities a path to recover costs. HB 1412 allows utilities to recover costs within customer rates for microgrids and energy storage projects. Rep. Stephen … [Read more...]

Connecting a Microgrid to the Grid

In this week’s Industry Perspectives, Scott Manson, of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, explains the steps behind connecting a microgrid to the grid.  Connecting a microgrid to an electric power system (EPS) requires the microgrid and EPS owners to form a legal contract and a technical design that ensure the safe, reliable, and economic … [Read more...]

Key Factors to Reliable Microgrid Control System Integration

In this week’s Industry Perspectives, Scott Manson, of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, covers the key factors behind reliable microgrid control system integration.  Making the microgrids of tomorrow as reliable as the conventional macrogrid power systems of today is a significant challenge. Microgrids capable of islanded operation must … [Read more...]

Quick Microgrid News…MLP for Microgrids?…LA’s Record-setting Microgrid Building…Latest New Microgrid Controller

This week's quick microgrid news... Movement is afoot once again in Congress to give renewables and distributed energy a financial advantage afforded to big oil and gas for about three decades -- the ability to form master limited partnerships or MLPs. U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Representatives Ted Poe … [Read more...]